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Gender & Innovation

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This report maps women’s participation as inventor-patentees across U.S. counties from 1990 through 2019. It identifies counties with the most women patentees by technology field and assesses three decades of growth. Recognizing that increasing the number of women who patent is an important policy objective, the analysis explores characteristics of county economic environments that are correlated with having and increasing the number of women inventor patentees. The results presented clarify the landscape and lay the foundation for evidence based approaches to important questions such as how women’s participation impacts county-level economic performance.

We are pleased to release annual datasets for exploring patents and their inventors and companies. The annual datasets are in csv files small enough for users without data science or coding knowledge to manipulate and view information about the inventors and company(ies) associated with every granted patent, including the gender of inventors generated by our gender attribution algorithm.

Innovation is widely viewed as a central driver of economic growth. As a result, many countries use a variety of policies to spur innovation, ranging from tax incentives to technical education. How effective are these policies? One way to understand the effectiveness is to study who becomes an inventor. What do their experiences teach us about factors that affect rates of innovation?